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13th September 2005 - 02:11 AM
I'm sorry if this forum has a search function and I'm not using it.. because I'm guessing this has been discussed, however I have a specific example I can't get out of my mind and I need to ask someone who knows... here it is...
546 that's the number... now this needs to be made into two sig figs in scientific notation. so 5.46 times 10 to the second. 546 itself does not by any means round to 600 so it couldn't be 600 that way... but 5.46 does round to 5.5 which rounds up so it could b e 6.0 times 10 to the second right? My physics teacher knows what he's doing but he sucks at explaining things.
13th September 2005 - 03:31 AM
3 1 sig fig
3.1 2 sig fig
3.142 4 sig fig
The rules for significant figures are as follows:
1. Leading zeros are never significant.
2. Imbedded zeros are always significant.
3. Trailing zeros are significant only if the decimal point is specified.
0.045 2 sig figs
2.095 4 sig figs
250 2 sig figs
250. 3 sig figs
Converting to scientific notation always helps!!
546 in scientific notation is 5.46 x 10^2 (3 sig figs)
5.46 x 10^2 is 5.5 x 10^2 (2 sig figs, rounded up)
Hope that helps.
13th September 2005 - 04:01 AM
You should only round once. (5.46 --> 5.5, but don't round 5.5 to 6)
13th September 2005 - 10:06 PM
Well on this particular test we got an "answer sheet" and 6.0 x 10^2 was the closest thing I had to choose.. it's only a high school class basically and most people don't care enough to question it... I didn't bother because the teacher really never seems to get your questions when you ask, he's a little up in years... knows what he's doing though.. just sometimes...
By the way is 6.0 x 10^2 two sig figs, the trailing decimal after the zero is a sig fig right?
14th September 2005 - 12:53 AM
6.0 x 10^2 is to 2 sig figs because of the decimal point.
I still feel that the more correct answer is 5.5 x 10^2 as you loose the accuracy if you round further. You should only round down once.
14th September 2005 - 03:18 AM
Yes I feel the same way, but for some reason it wasn't an available answer on the test. I checked and double checked the rather simple math, made me feel like an idiot how long I took on that test.
14th January 2012 - 07:34 AM
Are good quality figs
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